To keep the page going while we are in Germany, I got the idea to rerun articles from the past year. I further got the idea for celebrating indie games in July (because Independence Day, get it?). From the Vault Series 3 brings us back to my first experience with Enter the Gungeon.
Ever since discovering Unix based operating systems and then eventually Linux, I set up all of my computers as dual boot machines now. Honestly, I can’t think of a reason that I still have Windows on this laptop. In the past, I kept a version of Windows for gaming. However, most of my games that I play now are on mobile. What does any of this have to do with Enter the Gungeon?
Patience, my friend. I intend to answer that question. Since I never boot Windows on this machine, I downloaded and loaded Steam in Linux. It helpfully includes a list of Linux compatible games. Unfortunately, for some reason, you can only play 1 Screen Platformer on Windows. But, even though I miss one of my favorite games, Steam still offers quite a few others.
Bullet Hell? That Sounds Interesting
Because I purchased this computer mainly for updating this web page and the minor audio/video editing necessary to that end, I only trust it to run less powerful games. Sure, when I open it, Steam tempts me with games like Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead. But, I know my limitations. So, intrigued by the visuals, I loaded up Enter the Gungeon.
Even having lived through the various eras of gaming, I still can’t reliably explain what bit a game might be or why. I know the general go-to is 8-bit, which means the games run on hardware comparable to the NES. Even the font that I use for the page advertises as an “8-bit font”. But, I don’t remember any of the letters looking that detailed back in the old NES days. Heck, I worked the last couple of years to pick up some computer programming experience and I still can’t make heads or tails of it. But, I digress.
Retro. Enter the Gungeon is a retro style “bullet hell” game. What, exactly, is bullet hell? Well, after some research, I can finally tell you what “rogue like” and “rogue light” games are. So far, nothing inspired me to research “bullet hell”, but let me try to explain. Bullet hell games revolve around a randomly generated dungeon crawl with multiple enemies per level that you shoot using a variety of moves and targeting techniques. Man, that sounds good. Maybe I missed my calling as a marketing executive for small game designers.
Seriously, Though, What Does That Mean?
When you start the game, you get a choice of four characters. Having only played a couple of times and I chose the same character each time, I can only assume that the characters have different abilities. I can confirm in a future article about the game. After choosing your character, you get to play through a tutorial set of levels that gives you helpful hint of how to play the game.
If you are like me, you promptly forgot most of those hints. Either that, or you don’t possess the skill necessary to utilize them efficiently and effectively. I’m sure that with time my skill level will improve and I might even last until one of the boss fights to use the hints they gave me. Aside from all of that, you move your character and shoot your gun. I believe the bullet hell comes from the fact that you can constantly shoot and move yourself in full 360 with little to no penalty.
Enemies of various style and difficulty greet you with every new level. Again, if you pride yourself in being a noob like me, then it takes more than a couple of plays to figure out the best way to approach every type of enemy and style of room.
Even given my limitations, I enjoyed the game. I want to lead it up and play more. Who knows, with more free time next week, maybe I even get good, as the kids say. We all know stranger things happened. See you tomorrow for the next installment of Noob’s Book Club. Or, will I? That’s what we call a teaser in the biz.